Superior City Council Votes to Require Masks in Indoor Public Areas
City Council passed resolution 9-1, it takes effect July 27th
SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Superior City Council has voted to require masks in indoor public areas across the city.
Masks will be required in places like restaurants, bars, retail stores, public transportation, gyms, fitness studios, and entertainment venues.
The city council passed the resolution with a 9-1 vote.
“In the middle of a global pandemic we have to take some bold and unprecedented action to meet a very serious public health crisis,” said Superior Mayor Jim Paine. “Thankfully nobody has died in Douglas County from COVID-19. We want to keep it that way.”
If people refuse to wear masks in businesses, they can be asked to leave or be subject to law enforcement being called on them for trespassing.
If businesses do not enforce the requirement, they could be punished for a licensing violation and face the same consequences they would for serving underage customers or being open after hours.
Keith Kern was the only city councilor to vote against the resolution. He’s the owner of Jimmy’s Saloon and the president of the Douglas County Tavern League.
Kern says he supports mask wearing, but he doesn’t like the vague way the resolution was worded.
He believes many business owners, including himself, will have questions about how to enforce the mask mandate. He says it could make businesses even tougher to manage during the pandemic.
Kern believes the mandate should have been a “strong encouragement” from the city instead.
“The enforcement aspect is the problem that I had with it and I would have liked to have seen ‘strongly encouraged,'” said Kern. “I think Superior is a strong city, we want to get back on our feet, and I think if the city council would have adapted a resolution that said we strongly encourage it, I think our citizens and business owners would have done what was prudent to be able to get through and clear this up and get back to business.”
The mask requirement goes into effect on Monday, July 27th. It will continue until either September 25th, or when the city’s state of emergency ends, or if the council votes to end it.
There are some exemptions to the mandate.
Masks will not be required for children under five years of age, people with certain medical conditions, people in a sports or performance event, people actively eating or drinking, people speaking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, and people speaking to an audience.